Blood donations critically low - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

Blood donations critically low

By Taylor Barnhill  - bio | email | Twitter

COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - The American Red Cross needs your help. With an increase in traffic accidents, and a slow donation period, blood donations are way down.

Representatives from the Red Cross are hoping the convenient time and location of upcoming blood drives will draw more people to donate.

"I don't think anyone likes needles and that's always a problem," said the Red Cross Development Director Mitzi Oxford. But she says it's not the only problem the American Red Cross is facing when it comes to bringing in blood donations, "Coming off the summer and going into school starting is always a down time for blood donations."

Donation recruiters are trying to get the word out, expressing the need for blood.

"We always ask for support but when it gets to critical levels we go to the media for promotions and PSA's," Steve Tennant told News Leader Nine. He is the Donor Recruitment officer for the local Red Cross and says the levels are so low, accident victims could be facing big problems, "A single car accident is terrible right now because we don't have the blood supply to support that."

That's why the Red Cross is asking for your help.

"We try to make blood drives available all over the community at least once a week somewhere in the area," said Tennant.

Oxford added, "There's traffic coming in and out of there. Someone may come in to drop off a book and think -- I know someone who's in need of blood. I'm going to do that today."

They encourage donations by telling people just how many lives their pint of blood can touch.

Oxford said, "The cool thing about giving blood is that you're not just touching one person, you touch three people."

The biggest shortage is for O Negative blood type, which is known as the universal donor. The Red Cross needs A and B Negative blood as well.

Some blood drives coming to the area include:

Pine Mountain -- 08/11/2009: 2:00 PM-7:00 PM, First Baptist Church of Pine Mountain, 100 McDougald Avenue

Manchester -- 08/13/2009: 2:00 PM-7:00 PM, Manchester Community Building, 131 West Main Street

LaGrange -- 08/14/2009: 1:00 PM-6:00 PM, Diverse Power, 1400 South Davis Road

Columbus -- 08/14/2009: 10:00 AM-3:00 PM, Health and Human Services Center, 2100 Comer Avenue

For more information you can always call 1-800-GIVE-LIFE

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